John and Sandy were up early this morning, packed and ready to go. After loading their car (they were gracious enough to bring my fly fishing gear out and carried it plus some of our other stuff back with them) they left the condo at Granby, beginning their two day drive to Arkansas. Kay and I finished packing and clearing out the condo, loaded the car, and checked out. Our first experience with the Space Available program part of the Armed Forces Vacation Club was good, and our accommodations, were certainly worth the rate charged.
The 105-mile took us through Tabernash, Fraser, and Winter Park and then over Berthoud Pass at 11,300+ feet. The rest of the way to Denver International Airport was downhill, dropping over 6,000 feet. We detoured just short of the rental car return to fill up with gasoline. We were expecting the worst with respect to turning the car in: long lines, a hassle regarding gasoline levels, exhorbinant toll charges, etc. Apparently all the worry was for nought. The attendant read the bar code, handed us the receipt for the previously agreed upon price, we loaded in the shuttle to the airport, and were immediately whisked away. Unless we receive unexpected charges, the experience rates 3.5 out of 5.
We ended up at the airport way early, had Chinese for lunch, and waited another 4 hours for boarding. The United flight was smooth, and on time–no complaints here either: fare was in expensive, flights were on time or early, and other services were good (only two negatives with respect to United Airlines–$25 charge for each checked bag, and their frequent flier program is just that, for FREQUENT fliers, not occasional fliers such as us).
Karyn and Ridge met us at the empty, almost ghost town, airport, and we waited a long time for our baggage. We picked up the Explorer in North Little Rock, and arrived at Matt and Karyn’s in Maumelle, tired but no worse for wear.
We spent the rest of the evening enjoying family time, especially with Ridge, and made it to bed shortly after he was put to bed.